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DATE News (chronologically)
05/23/12
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Indianapolis Motor Speedway Could Add More Signage To Boost Revenues
With Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka and Shell Oil Co. signs hung on the walls of turns three and four, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President & CEO Jeff Belskus is “predicting double-digit percentage increases in Indianapolis 500 advertising and sponsorship revenue,” according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. Belskus is now “promising to look at all inventory at the track that could be sponsored or have corporate signage hung on it.” Belskus said, “We’re running a business. And we’re going to continue to look for creative ways to generate revenue. There’s a lot of inventory here we can brand.” Just Marketing Int'l Founder & CEO Zak Brown said, “They’re dangling a huge carrot. Now that the door is open, this is something that is certainly high on our radar screen.” Industry experts said that offering signage and sponsorships on key IMS landmarks "could generate more than" $7.5M annually. Brown: “The Speedway has left a lot of money on the table in the past in the name of keeping the facility pristine. Now I think we’re going to see the real commercial potential of this facility.”

Belskus is “already considering ads in turns one and two and signage and sponsorships for the Pagoda, media center, pit lane and the Speedway’s hall of fame museum.” Belskus said that naming-rights deals for IMS or the Indianapolis 500 are “out of the question for now." However, Belskus said a "presenting sponsor" for either is a possibility. He has not “heard any complaints from fans about the new signs or his plans to further commercialize the Brickyard.” Belskus: “As long as we don’t block anyone’s view or disturb the experience, I don’t expect many complaints” INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL.

REASON FOR OPTIMISM: An INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL editorial states, “We’re glad the race and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the storied track that hosts it, respect the past. But we are even more excited that IMS’ owners, the Hulman-George family, seem increasingly willing to change.” However, this is “no time for complacency or insular thinking -- a point that, fortunately, the family is recognizing.” The “most obvious sign of change” for race fans is the placement of ads on the track walls. The new approach “comes at the behest” of the board of Hulman & Co., IMS’ parent company. For years, the board was "dominated by Hulman-George family members, some with thin business experience.” But that all changed early in ‘11, when the board “began adding some of the best business minds in the city” INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL

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